Some in the Texas legislature might try to hide behind tax-hiking verbiage to escape voter wrath. You can put lipstick on a tax and call it a fee or assessment, but it doesn’t change the fact that it drains taxpayer wallets for the purpose of growing government.

Take for example legislation up today in the House State Affairs Committee. The bills by State Rep. Craig Eiland (D-Galveston) would create a new tax on satellite TV subscribers. Why? So that they have “parity” with the taxes levied on cable companies.

It is disturbing that when there is a question of “tax parity,” the solution always seems to center around raising a tax rather than cutting one.

While a fiscal note for HB 3675 is not available, the note for HB 259 means voting for it creates a $170 million drain from Texans’ already stretched pocketbooks simply to achieve a false notion of “parity.”

(As someone who still uses rabbit ears to watch live TV, and refuses to subscribe to cable or satellite TV, I’m more concerned with the negative implications of raising Texans’ tax burden than the impact on either industry.)

Rather than close a “loophole” and generate more dollars into government coffers, lawmakers should be looking for ways to expand economic freedom — not curtail it through higher taxes and fees.


Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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